When I drove Grandmother she could be an anxious passenger. If a car felt too close or if she perceived that I was going too fast she had a panic. She was a flincher, a grabber of the handle up by the window. She clutched the collar of her shirt or pinched at the knees of her pants. Lots of traffic was also scary and she would shake her head and close her eyes and mutter, “good night at the cars!”
Bumps in the road were literally excruciating for her. So I started trying to make it easier. When we would go over railroad tracks or a pothole I would turn to her and gleefully exclaim, “bump, bump!” I started doing this when I drove Millie to her beauty parlor and when we went to doctor appointments. It eventually worked and she would smile and tell me I was “a mess”.
I didn’t realize that I still did it until I went over train tracks on the way to W’s school this morning and he shouted out from the back seat, “bump, bump!!”